WonderBao - http://www.wonderbaokitchen.com.au/

Quick Thoughts: Serving up delicious and carefully prepared ‘baos’, or rather, Chinese style ‘tacos’, WonderBao has easily built and filled a niche that Melbourne wasn’t quite sure that it lacked. Bringing modern takes on the humble steamed bread buns called ‘Bao’, they feature a menu that shows off modernised takes on the aforementioned along with the typical round filled Char Siu Baos and their variations. 

Make sure you try the braised pork belly bao (the gua bao), the home made soy milk and the custard bao, and then thank me later by buying me a few.

Verdict: Legit

Wonderbao on Urbanspoon

La Luna - http://www.lalunabistro.com.au/

Quick Thoughts: Unpretentious, yet elegant would best describe La Luna. It’s a place where I’d happily take a family, yet would have no issue taking a date either (assuming they’re a little carnivorous). You can tell that flavour was the first directive, and it shines through in La Luna’s dishes. And although some of the dishes may feel as if they’re on the simpler side, the flavours that come through are by no means basic.  Carefully seasoned and balanced, you can taste the great deal of care that’s been taken into creating each and every dish. The freshness of their ingredients and carefully chosen produce are obvious (price premium included) and has La Luna shining through the night of Melbourne’s offerings.

Verdict: Legit

La Luna Bistro on Urbanspoon

The Burger Lounge - http://www.theburgerlounge.com.au/

Quick Thoughts: Now there’s been quite a bit of fanfare (maybe in my social circles) surrounding the The Burger Lounge, and much of it is warranted.

They serve up what is ultimately the traditionally “Australian” burger with many a twist depending on what you choose. My pattie had cheese in the pattie, which is pretty ridiculous.

But I’d be nary to say that it does suffer from the ‘localised’ hype that tends to surround many of these more isolated restaurants and outlets in the suburbs.This isn’t to say that I believe that the burgers at The Burger Lounge are sub par by any means, but would I travel specifically to go get a burger from here? Not quite, but if I lived in Eltham or the surrounding areas I’d be more than happy to come back many, many times.  

Verdict: Would Go Back

The Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon

Rockwell & Sons - http://www.rockwellandsons.com.au/

Quick Thoughts: Great value, delicious food, an evolving menu, consistently attentive service and a relaxed ambient setting. Is Rockwell my favourite restaurant? Almost. Most definitely my favourite casual restaurant, but maybe not overall…their desserts do seem to be a bit lacking. Which leaves me to only imagine my joy once they start nailing those sweet treats!

Rating: Legit

Rockwell and Sons on Urbanspoon

Auction Rooms - http://www.auctionroomscafe.com.au/

Quick Thoughts: An antique in terms of cafe age within Melbourne, Auction Rooms continues to still deliver the goods, despite its age. Although its years on top of the cafe scene may be behind them, Auction Rooms still has enough in the tank worthy of repeat visits, and its large and open setting adds a great ambiance to go along with its evolving menu. Perfect for summer!

Rating: Legit